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Housing Benefit overpayment

Sometimes we give you too much Housing Benefit than what you are entitled to.

This may happen because:

  • It takes time to deal with changes you tell us about. Even if you tell us straightaway and we deal with it quickly it can be impossible to avoid paying you too much
  • You may have given us wrong information, not told us something we needed to know, or been slow to tell us about a change
  • We may have made a mistake

We have to write to you about the overpayment and any action we will take.

Do you have to pay it back?

You usually have to pay it back but not always.

We can ask you to pay it back if:

  • It was your fault we overpaid you. For example because you didn't tell us about a change
  • It was not strictly your fault but it was not our fault either. For example, because you got a pay rise in June, backdated to April that you could not have told us about earlier
  • It was our fault but you could have realised we were overpaying you and didn't tell us. For example, if you get a pay rise but your benefit and Council Tax Support don't change, you should let us know

Pay back your Housing Benefit overpayment

We can't ask you to pay it back if it's our fault and you couldn't have realised you were getting too much Housing Benefit.

How we get the overpaid benefit back

  • From your weekly benefit. If you are still entitled to Housing Benefit we can take money out of each week's benefit until your overpayment is cleared. For 2015/16 we won't usually take more than £11.10 a week unless you have committed fraud. We can take less if the amount we are taking is causing you hardship.
  • From money in your rent account if you are a council tenant. If your rent account is in credit we can take the overpayment back from your credit. We won't put you in rent arrears.
  • From your landlord if you are a tenant of a private landlord, housing association or housing trust. If we have been paying your landlord direct we may ask them to repay the money. This may mean that you owe your landlord more rent.
  • We may send you a bill (an invoice) if you are no longer on benefit or don't get enough each week for us to make a deduction. If you get a bill from us you must make arrangements to pay it. You can pay online using our payments service, at one of Medway's Community Hubs or by phone on 01634 333 333.